Wednesday, October 10, 2012

James Morrison : The Awakening Tour in Manila

Took some time off to catch the James Morrison concert last night.

Although admittedly not as familiar with his discography as my concert buddies, I did manage to listen to his latest album long enough to get the impression that it was a form of affirmation, if not a total celebration of sorts. Certain tracks sounded like a tribute, a veritable list of people and things that made this particular artist who he is today. The Awakening is arguably more upbeat than Morrison's previous offerings---I, for one, am amazed by the uncanny marriage of this singer's signature rasp and the Motown influence in his third album.

With a setlist of funky tunes intermingled with soulful ballads, this British singer-songwriter performed with a whole lot of swag, jumping and strutting on stage, infecting the crowd with his euphoric energy. The whole concert experience felt like a laid-back party with a take em' to church vibe and Morrison, the anointed preacher. With a unique gravelly voice (which I can only describe as one in dire need of a lozenge, but in a good way), this guy was a sight to behold as he unleashed his inner dance monkey before a crowd of onlookers who had no choice but to reciprocate his verve.

People probably came in droves wanting to hear sentimental hits like You Give Me Something and Broken Strings and let me just say that he didn't disappoint. He likewise sold his new material, singing up tempo songs like Beautiful Life and Slave to the Music whilst dialing things down a notch with heartfelt compositions like In My Dreams, I Won't Let You Go and  Say Something Now, all done with apparent ease and pride. 

There are performers who would often draw energy from the crowd but this one generated his own; he channeled it to everyone inside the Big Dome. This one had a light in him that made you stop wondering whether or not he took more than a swig of spiked Kool-aid, he had an energy and a force that can make you throw your hands in the air and say, "I'll have whatever he's having."

He was obviously having a good time that night and so were we. 

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Concert picture courtesy of Inquirer Entertainment
I initially planned to use a different picture for this blog post, but the picture that came with the Inquirer article pretty much captured the feeling of seeing Morrison work his groove.


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